There was nothing Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers could do on Sunday but watch as his defense allowed Vikings All-Pro receiver Justin Jefferson to go absolutely crazy. The former LSU Tiger caught nine passes for 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns en route to a 23-7 Vikings victory.
Rodgers approached Jefferson after the game, gave him a hug, and told him he was the best player on the field. Jefferson has been on a tear through his first 2+ seasons in the NFL, holding the NFL record for most receiving yards through a player’s first two seasons in NFL history (3,016).
On The Pat McAfee Show Tuesday, Rodgers spoke about a familiar player who Jefferson reminds him of.
Jefferson is very similar to Davante Adams in a lot of respects and is just as clutch for the Vikings now as Adams was for Green Bay in his eight seasons there. Let’s look closer at how the two superstar receivers compare.
Justin Jefferson’s career portfolio so far compared to Adams
To start off, Jefferson has had 85+ receptions and 1,400+ receiving yards in each of his first two NFL seasons. He has 17 total touchdown receptions over his first two seasons too. In doing so, he has been named a Pro Bowl selection and an All-Pro in those two seasons. He has an average career yards per reception mark of 15.6. In other words, he is a massive big-play threat. He is quarterback Kirk Cousins‘s best wide receiver that he has ever played with.
His statistics have proven that he is one of the best overall players in the game today. In comparing him with Davante Adams, the Packers legend is a five-time Pro Bowl selection but has as many All-Pro selections as Jefferson does. For reference, Jefferson is 23 years of age, and Adams is 29. Adams didn’t have his first 1,000-yard season until his fifth NFL season. To have a great career like Adams, Jefferson has to continue to be consistent throughout all of it. It is safe to say he is off to a good start.
Highlighting the characteristics of Jefferson and Adams
What makes both of these players unique is their release like Rodgers said. A release is essentially how a wide receiver moves off of the line of scrimmage after the ball is snapped. Both Davante Adams and Justin Jefferson have amazing footwork. That is what makes them so fast.
They both have 4.4 speed, which is fairly quick, but is not what helps them get open. Their footwork and route-running abilities allow them to shake free from defenders and become reliable targets for their quarterbacks. Jefferson has not necessarily gotten the publicity that he deserves considering he started his career in the same division with Adams, who has arguably been the best in the league for a few years now.
With Adams now in Las Vegas, it appears as though Jefferson is the king of receivers in the NFC North. Rodgers sees that and appreciates it, but not when they play against each other. The Vikings will face the Packers again on New Year’s Day in Week 17 at Lambeau Field. In all likelihood, those teams could meet with the division hanging in the balance.